Monday, October 1, 2001

PalmPower reviews Documents To Go 4.0

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Jen Edwards

If you've recently purchased an m500 or m505 Palm handheld, you may already be familiar with Documents To Go, which was included on a software CD in the package.

You may not, however, be familiar with the latest release from DataViz, Documents To Go 4.0, Professional Edition. In addition to allowing you to view and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents on your handheld, you now have the ability to view Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and even read Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files. It's obvious that this product is a large step forward in corporate handheld computing.


"It's obvious that this product is a large step forward in corporate handheld computing."

Installation

Installation is rather straightforward. Once you follow the necessary steps on your desktop PC, HotSync your Palm OS handheld in order to copy the Documents To Go applications to your device. A full installation will take require approximately 800K of free memory on your device. While several new icons will be added to your program launcher, the only one you need to use is the Documents icon. Tap on that, and you'll see a listing of every Documents To Go file on your Palm, including documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations, as seen in Figure A.

FIGURE A

The Documents application on the handheld allows you to see exactly what has been installed to your device.

A couple of sample files were initially installed so that you can familiarize yourself with how the various handheld applications work, or you can use the desktop conduit to add your own files.

Using the desktop file manager

Fortunately the desktop file manager is very easy to use. Whether you have memos, sales projections, inventory spreadsheets, or important presentations that you would like to add to your handheld, it's a simple matter to do so.

When Documents To Go was first installed on your computer, it added its own icon to the desktop. Double-click to activate the program, and then click the "Add Item" icon on the left-hand side, as shown below in Figure B.

FIGURE B

The Documents To Go conduit manager on the desktop is very easy to use. (click for larger image)

From there a box pops up that allows you to navigate anywhere on your computer and select the file that you would like to download and access on your handheld device. Even better, once you have chosen the file you want to add, it appears in the box along with information about the amount of room that will be required on the handheld and its status, such as "Needs sync" or "Current."